Thursday, July 17, 2008

Philip and Heather Sutton: weekend in Manorbier 2

You might describe Philip Sutton as a Renaissance painter in that he is endlessly curious, endlessly excited by everything around him from science and the natural world to Shakespeare and Russian writers.

I first met him, and then his family, when he was my inspirational tutor at Chelsea Art School, nearly fifty years ago. Born a Londoner, he and his wife Heather now live contently in the peace of South West Wales, surrounded by an idyllic garden, full of flowers and trees and birds. There is even an adjacent field and the sea is close by. What else could a painter like him want? It is not far off from Paradise….

Recently, Phil has been obsessed with painting the many birds feeding on exotic, curvaceous bird feeders outside the kitchen window, resulting in many fluid water colours covering the studio walls. His latest obsession is insects- small cards filled with entrancing jewel-like specimens, drawn with coloured pencils.

Phil has always worked non-stop. Last weekend, when I stayed with him and Heather, apart from continuing with his insects at any spare moments, and when he was not swimming or running on Tenby beach, he was in their magic garden checking the proofs of a large art book about his work, being produced by the Royal Academy in conjunction with Thames and Hudson. He is shown correcting the proofs in the photo at the top of the first post. Concurrent with the publication of this book, in November he will be holding two exhibitions in Cork Street.

Starting with the door into Phil's studio:

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